Baltimore Police Department officers are under investigation in connection to another body camera video that allegedly shows officers planting evidence.
According to charging documents released by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, the incident took place last November in Southeast Baltimore.
Officers said they were conducting a covert drug investigation while searching a car.
“An additional video raised concerns for one of our prosecutors,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said during a recent press conference.
When the Office of the Public Defender reviewed the body camera footage, it showed a series of videos of a car search being conducted.
The video footage indicates officers found nothing initially, then the camera is turned off for approximately 30 minutes, before being turned back on. The Office of the Public Defender has said that they will not release the video but have released a statement detailing what the video shows.
“When the cameras come back on one officer is seen squatting by the driver’s seat area.
The group of officers then wait approximately 30 seconds. Shortly thereafter, another officer asks if the area by that compartment has been searched. Nobody responds, and the officer reaches in and locates a bag that appears to contain drugs right by where the prior officer was.
And where the car had been thoroughly searched about a half an hour prior with absolutely no results,” according to the Public Defender’s Office.
With the body camera footage serving as evidence, prosecutors have dropped charges against one of the two people arrested in the case.
A woman has said that she will hire a lawyer for a possible civil suit.
“A good defense attorney is going to argue why was there that gap in time, and why did the cameras go back on just before they found the biggest piece of evidence.
You can imagine the doubt that might engender in a jury,” said legal analyst Adam Ruther.
“What’s most concerning in this particular video, is it appears officers are working in concert with each other,” said Debbie Katz Levi, with the Office of the Public Defender.
Seven officers are named in the case but only two have been referred to the Internal Affairs division.
This most recent video evidence of alleged misconduct comes just weeks after another video involving body camera footage of BPD officers shows an officer allegedly place drugs at a crime scene.
In that case, State’s Attorney Mosby dismissed charges in 34 cases relying on the testimony of three other officers and the video itself which showed the officer allegedly planting drugs.
That officer has been suspended and two others were placed on administrative duty.